Deal struck for Fenland village GP practice to move out of Scout hut into purpose-built surgery
THE saga over a village GP surgery which moved into temporary accommodation is drawing to a close.
The Terrington St John practice moved out of the village’s health centre after its new owners were unable to agree a deal with the outgoing partners.
This meant Peterborough-based primary care group First Health had to move doctors, nurses and receptionists into the village’s Scout hut before moving into portable buildings in the village.
But NHS Norfolk has confirmed that a deal has been struck which means patients in and around Terrington St John will soon be able to see their doctor or nurse in the village’s purpose-built surgery building.
Pam Hardy, chairman of Terrington St John Parish Council, said: “This is indeed welcome news for all the patients and staff. I am sure everyone will be pleased with the outcome.”
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Fiona Reynolds, director of operations for First Health, said: “Moving our surgery out of portable accommodation to the former St John’s surgery building will take careful planning to ensure continuity of service.
“We will let our patients know the arrangements as soon as they have been finalised. We believe this is a very good move for our patients.”
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The announcement follows months of negotiations involving the partners who own the building, NHS Norfolk, and First Health.
A NHS Norfolk spokesman said the building is not ready to be moved into yet as new flooring and decoration are required to comply with new infection control standards which are being introduced by the Care Quality Commission.
The spokesman added: “These standards will apply to all GP Practices by April 2012 and both NHS Norfolk and First Health felt it prudent to ensure St John’s meets these new standards before moving in.”
Nikki Cocks, NHS Norfolk’s director of independent contracts and providers, said a 10-year lease to rent the building has been signed.
She added: “We are delighted that an agreement has been reached. We thank the patients for their forbearance whilst changes to their primary care services have taken place.”
This latest revelation comes after South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss wrote a letter to health minister Simon Burns asking him to intervene and bring an end to the “unacceptable” situation.
Reacting to the news, she said: “I am pleased that this has finally been resolved and patients can once again use a building that was designed to be a GP practice and not a temporary accommodation.
“I hope that this new phase will support a successful and efficient surgery serving the community of Terrington St John and the surrounding villages.”